Sachin Tendulkar's decision to quit Test cricket at the end of his 200th match next month has caught former teammate Rahul Dravid by surprise. The two legends of Indian cricket had met each other during the Champions League T20 final at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday and Dravid admits "he had no inkling that Sachin was going to quit Tests."
In an interview to a cricket website, Dravid said: "There were indications that he would finish, but that he would end with the Tests against the West Indies, I had no inkling." Dravid, himself retired from international cricket in March 2012 but continued to play T20 cricket for his franchise Rajasthan Royals. On Sunday, he played his last competitive match against Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians, the Champions League winners.
Tendulkar's Test form had become a topic of much debate in recent times. His poor run with the bat - Tendulkar hadn't scored a Test hundred since January 2011 - had raised doubts about his ability to produce the goods for India at a time when a clutch of talented kids were knocking on the Test door. When he quit ODI cricket in December last year, it was clear that Tendulkar wanted to prolong his Test career. But cricket can be cruel because at the end of the day, it's the number of runs that matter and by Tendulkar's lofty standards -- 15837 runs at an average of 53.86 - he was finding it difficult to match the rhythm he was known for. (Also read: Cricketers, both past and present, pay tribute)